Fort Worth—The roar of the engines and the smell of racing fuel is intoxicating for 19-year-old James Buescher. He was born in Plano, but he grew up on the dirt and asphalt tracks of Texas Motor Speedway. Friday and Saturday he'll be racing in front of his hometown crowd.
Friday night he'll race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Then on Saturday he'll race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Buescher looks like a kid and that's because he is a kid. But, even at 19, he knows how to race because he's been doing since he's been able to walk.
Buescher jumps into his number 10 racing truck, puts on his helmet, flashes a smile, then cranks up the engine. You can't talk over the roar as he rolls to pit road. At first glance, you might not think those trucks can go as fast as the other cars. But they can.
"We get pretty close to 200 miles-an-hour at a lot of race tracks." Buescher says. "Probably here at Texas Motor Speedway, we're probably around 175 or so, at the end of the straightaway, 185.
North Texas is football country. So, on the weekends in Plano, James would always have to say goodbye to his football buddies as he went to the track. He started racing dirt bikes when he was four and five. He got behind the wheel of a race car at 12.
"(I) never really got to hang out with all the friends like everybody normally does and pretty much every weekend was devoted to racing," Buescher says. "Everyday after school (i) was devoted to racing, working on our cars to get them faster for the next weekend."
But, Buescher says he wouldn't have it any other way. He actually fell in love on the race track, finding his second true love.
"I'm actually engaged to Chris Turner," Buescher says. "I actually raced against her growing up. We met at Texas Motor Speedway."
Now, Buescher dreams of racing on Sunday with the big boys like Tony Stewart and Jimmy Johnson in the Sprint Cup Cars. But, he says he's willing to take his foot off the gas just a little bit on that part of his career.
"I'm 19-years-old and the way I look at it you get one shot a making it in this sport and you don't need to rush it," Buescher says.
Yeah right, who are you kidding?